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The next generation of Hockey App: Visual Studio Mobile Center (now Visual Studio App Center)


Hockey App is part of Microsoft’s Mobile DevOps stack helping developers manage the app lifecycle and automate integration, testing, delivery, and monitoring. Mobile Center is a new base for all of your mobile application needs. It is a set of DevOps tools including continuous integration, automated UI testing, distribution, crashes, and analytics. You can use any number of these features independently, but the more you combine, the more powerful Mobile Center becomes.

Mobile Center interface and services

If you would like to learn more about enhancing frontend development code quality, it includes understanding different types of JavaScript unit testing frameworks like Jasmine, Mocha, Jest, different types of task runners like Grunt and Gulp, different types of linting tools like JSHint, ESLint, JSLint, CSSLint, different types of code formatters like Prettier and Tidy, how to write your first JavaScript using test with Jasmine standalone version, how to run JavaScript unit tests using Grunt, Command Line and PhantomJS. How to calculate code coverage for JavaScript unit tests using Istanbul, how to run JavaScript unit tests using Visual Studio Test Explorer using chutzpah extension, how to lint JavaScript code using JSHint and how to run that from Command Line using Grunt, finally it shows how to integrate all the quality practices with Visual Studio Team Service Build automation so it can be part of CI/CD or Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery - have a look at the this post

Mobile Center provides you with an automated continuous integration process. The most important Mobile Center services are listed below:

  1. Getting Started - contains some instructions about how to get started with the SDK.
  2. Build - continuous integration service. Provides information about all the completed Builds and allows you to directly distribute Builds to a beta distribution group, and to download the different symbols and different logs.
  3. Test - UI supports testing your devices on the cloud - i.e. testing common user scenarios on real devices.
  4. Distribution
  5. Crashes
  6. Analytics

1 - Mobile Center Interface and services

Transition from Hockey App to Mobile Center

To ensure a smooth transition from Hockey App to Mobile Center, Microsoft is providing a side-by-side viewing - when all your apps, organizations, collaborators, and testers coexist on both of these platforms. Your data will be synced back and forth, and any changes you make to Hockey App will automatically be delivered to Mobile Center and vice versa, ensuring consistency between the two services.

2 - Side-by-side viewing with Hockey App and Mobile Center

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Side-by-side collaboration tool

The side-by-side collaboration tool allows you to continue to use Hockey App but at the same time to start using Mobile Center and all the tools and improvements on existing services inside it. The tool is now available for Hockey App pre-season customers. To obtain access you have to perform the following steps:

3 - Side-by-side collaboration tool installation


Mobile Center combines the lifecycle, monitoring, and backend features of Microsoft’s existing stack into a single platform. Nowadays, when quality is more important than ever, Mobile Center provides a robust crash-reporting solution analytics platform, enabling you to monitor the behavior and happiness of the customers. Moreover, Mobile Center is modular, which gives you the flexibility to use only the tools you need and nothing more.

In order to ensure Continuous Integration, we need to use proper deploying strategy. Read more about deploying with Feature Branches and Feature Toggle in the following post; Deploy from Branches with and without Feature Toggle.

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